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Courage to Dream
by Deena Craig, PA-C,
Rural Health Neuroscience Specialist at Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience

“A goal without a plan is only a dream” - But all great things that are accomplished start with a dream.

It takes courage to dream because dreaming involves a potential leap of faith and change. Status quo is comfortable as it is much easier to go through life taking each day at a time. Without the courage to dream, you will remain in the same place, same situation, same circumstance, and allow others to dictate your future. Change can be uncomfortable because it often requires the end of something, and sometimes those endings may be painful. But all new beginnings must be preceded by an ending, even the painful ones. Treading water keeps you where you are but swimming takes you to shore.

The best vision grows from dreams, hopes and aspirations. A vision can best be described as your most important dream. Vision is a dream with focus and the realization that your dream can become reality. Overtime, it can intensify and solidify in the heart. At the appointed moment, it will come to life and transform into a probability requiring a plan.

Dreaming is different than wishing. Wishing is hoping that something might change or happen. Wishes keep their current state and form because it is never really viewed as a possibility and never develops in life. In many cases wishes die from focusing on all the reasons that something cannot be done and will eventually die a premature death. Wishes become overshadowed with “I can’t, or we can’t” but courage takes a dream and says “I can do that, we can do that, or I must do that”. Courage allows us to take the first step, consider all possibilities, and begin to process what it would take for the dream to become a reality. Dreams fueled with courage become visions and those visions develop into plans, goals, and ultimately reality. Though some dreams become reality in a short amount of time, other dreams may take longer to come to fruition.

Below are some reasons why our dreams may be delayed when coming into fruition.


It’s not the right time.

Often we have dreams that are for a later time. A child may have a dream to become a doctor. But it’s not the right time. The dream remains, but there are many other things that need to happen in that child’s life before the time is right to pursue a career in medicine. The same is true whether the dream is a dream for an individual or a company. Sometimes other things need to take place first.


There are purposes to be accomplished in the waiting.

Waiting needs to be seen as an active state, not a passive state. Ask what can be learned in the waiting. What small steps can be taken during the waiting that would make a better outcome? Waiting should be seen as preparation. So prepare, and be ready.


The right people might not be in place yet.

The right people, at the right time, in the right place = success.


There are circumstances outside your control that need to pass.

A good example of this is the pandemic which brought a lot of change, financial constraints, and travel constraints. For some dreams and visions, this simply must be waited out – knowing that it will pass. But in the waiting, as mentioned earlier, prepare. Be ready for it when the time is right.


The most important thing to remember in the waiting: Don’t give up.

Keep the dream alive in your heart and trust that it will come to pass in the right time. Again, be ready. Singers and performers dream of getting their “big break”. But it often takes years of hard work and showing up for that to happen. And then suddenly, they’re in the right place at the right time and it happens. If they gave up and stopped showing up, they would have missed it.


It might be your dream but someone else’s purpose to see it to its fruition.

Sometimes the dream is bigger than you.  Martin Luther King’s famous dream speech is a good example:  

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. 

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. 

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. 

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  I have a dream today.”
Martin Luther King had a dream and he breathed life into it so that it became a vision with a life and survivability of its own. Remember that a vision can best be described as your most important dream.

Sadly, although Martin Luther King did not live to see the fruition of his dream and vision. His courage gave life and wings to that dream such that the rest of his generation lived to see an African American man become the President of the United States! That’s what having courage to dream can do. Think where we might be as a nation had Martin Luther King not had the courage to dream. And then consider this – Your failure to dream may rob not just you, but others, of the fruit of that dream, transformed to reality by courage.

What is your dream and do you have the courage to inspire and breathe life into it?
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